“. . . When the olive and almond Have become timber Decoration on the doorways of inns. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Israeli authorities erected a barbed wire fence around the cemetery. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Israeli authorities erected a barbed wire fence around the cemetery. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIANS  CLEAN  EAST  JERUSALEM  CEMETERY  FACING  CONFISCATION
Sep. 4, 2015
JERUSALEM ― Dozens of Palestinians in Jerusalem gathered to clean the Bab al-Rahma cemetery on Friday, in response to plans announced by Israeli authorities to seize parts of the cemetery for a national park trail, local sources told Ma’an.
____Islamic and national leaders in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan and the committee for the preservation of Islamic cemeteries in Jerusalem called for protests after the Israeli Nature Authority announced its plan to confiscate 40 percent of the cemetery’s area [. . . .]
____The head of the committee for the preservation of Islamic cemeteries in Jerusalem, Mustafa Abu Zahra, told Ma’an that the part of the cemetery that was fenced off included grave-sites.
More. . .   
Related. . .
Related. . .

+972 MAGAZINE
IN  FIVE-YEAR  HIGH,  ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  143  PALESTINIAN  STRUCTURES  IN  SINGLE  MONTH
Natasha Roth
Sep. 5, 2015
Israel demolished 143 Palestinian structures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the month of August, the highest such total in five years, according to statistics released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Occupied Palestinian Territory (OCHA-oPt). The wave of demolitions has displaced nearly 200 Palestinians, many of them children . . . .
____The five-year high for monthly demolitions was not the only notable statistic of the past month. The week of August 18-24 saw 42 Palestinian structures demolished, the highest weekly total in six months. On August 17, 78 Palestinians were displaced by demolitions — the highest daily total since October 2012. Between January 1 and August 31 this year, Israel demolished 403 Palestinian structures, an average of almost 1.7 demolitions per day.
More. . .

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
GAZA  COMMITTEE  DEMANDS  INTERNATIONAL  INTERVENTION  IN  BLOCKADE
Sep. 4, 2015
GAZA CITY ―A governmental body in Gaza responsible for monitoring the Israeli blockade on the Strip demanded international intervention on Friday following a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which said the territory could become uninhabitable by 2020.
____The head of the Governmental Committee for Breaking the Siege, Alaa al-Din al-Batta, demanded that the international community and rights organizations cooperate to facilitate economic growth in Gaza, lift the Israeli siege, and reintegrate the territory into the global economy in order to avoid a humanitarian disaster.
More. . .
gaza
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
ISRAEL  GRANTS  SETTLEMENTS  $170  MILLION
Sept. 4, 2015
According to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, the Israeli government has recently decided to erase $24 million in debt owed by settlements in the West Bank and occupied Golan Heights. These debts have been accumulating since 2011. The government had also decided to erase settlement debts amounting to $146 million, which have accumulated from as far back as the 1970’s.
____These debts are owed to the World Zionist Organisation’s settlement division and were granted in the form of loans given to what it called “cooperative societies” in the West Bank.
More. . .

❺ Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
DEMOLISHING  PALESTINIAN  STRUCTURES  IS  THE  NORM — NOT  THE  EXCEPTION
Natasha Roth
Aug. 19, 2015
Over August 17-18 Israeli authorities demolished around 40 Palestinian structures in the West Bank, displacing over 120 Palestinians. The demolitions were carried out during a record-breaking heat wave that has hit Israel-Palestine over the past week.
____Monday’s total of 22 demolitions — in the Ma’ale Adumim area of the West Bank — displaced 78 Palestinians (including 49 children), the highest such number in one day since October 2012. Tuesday saw 17 structures demolished in the village of Fasayil in the Jordan Valley, leaving 48 homeless, including 31 children. All the affected families belong to Bedouin communities found throughout the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley.
More. . .

“A  MOTHERLAND,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
What,
When in my country
Dies the swallow of starvation,
In exile and without a shroud,
While the earthworm is over-fed
On God’s food?

What,
When the yellow fields
Yield to their tillers
Nothing except their weary memories,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of their usurpers?

What,
When cement has chocked
The ancient springs
And caused them to forget
Their courses,
They cry in the face
Of their creator, “Who are you?”

What,
When the olive and almond
Have become timber
Decoration on the doorway of inns,
Idols,
Whose nudity charms halls and bars,
And souvenirs for tourists
To carry to the far corners of the world,
While nothing meets my eyes
But dry timber and yellow leaves.

From: A  LOVER  FROM  PALESTINE  AND  OTHER  POEMS:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  PALESTINIAN  POETRY.  Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970.
Available from Amazon.
Samih Al-Qasim obituary

Palestinians collect their belongings after their house was demolished by Israeli bulldozers in the Arab East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Beit Hanina on March 19, 2014.
Palestinians collect their belongings after their house was demolished by Israeli bulldozers in the Arab East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Beit Hanina on March 19, 2014.

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